Rowing 2019-05-13T13:07:20+02:00

Tradition | Excellence | Opportunity
Founded in 1856.

The Grey Vision
Grey remains as one of the leading schools in the country, with a culture and value system that support its fine heritage. Grey is recognised for its competitiveness and excellence in academic, sporting and cultural activities, as well as for its ability to consistently produce leaders.
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Teacher in Charge

Mr Stephen van Niekerk


Rowing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. It requires great levels of concentration and mental toughness, in order to endure the training, and the burning muscles during a race. Almost every muscle in the body is used when rowing allowing juniors to develop naturally and healthily, throughout their training. As a rower at Grey, you have the opportunity to do a large amount of travelling to races all over South Africa. The club has travelled to East London, Knysna, Grahamstown, Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria in order to race, the latter being SA Schools Championships. We are a successful club on both national and international level. For the past 3 years we have had rowers racing at the Belgium International Regatta. In 2014 two of our U16s were selected to represent South African Schools Rowing in Belgium. They took part in 3 events combined with Western Cape rowers, to form the crews. Not only did they race well, but they brought back gold and silver. Unfortunately rowing does require a lot of equipment, as well as a decent stretch of water! However Grey Rowing Club has built up a very good inventory of the necessities in rowing, as you can see below.


Bob Bruce as President of the PE Rowing Club approached Bruce Gordon about starting rowing at Grey. This was refused on the grounds that Grey already offered more than enough sporting opportunities. However, Mr Gordon agreed that boys could row as Grey under the auspices of the PE Rowing Club. Names such as Hewie Puttergill and Barry Cullingworth were prominent. In the 1950’s there was mention of Grey as champions. Unfortunately Grey crews declined after a few years and disappeared.

1977 Started Rowing Club again with 20 members. ZRC donated a coxed four (Binker Arnold)
1979 Binker Arnold withdrawn from service. Only one U14 crew.
1980 Use of a pair
1981 Floods destroy Grey boat in ZRC boathouse. UPE and Buffalo Rowing Club assist us with a boat
1982 First Rowing camp at Redhouse. First win (1st 4+ beats Selborne College). Acquired a 4+ from St Andrews College (Apollo)
1983 Apollo broke in half in Cape Town. Had to use borrowed boat. Went to SA Championships.
1984 No wins. New coxed 4+ arrives from England.
1985 Hosted Border Champs at North End Lake
1987 Given 3 boats by SA Schools Rowing
1989 Purchased a motor boat and motor
1990 Two sculls donated by Cumar. Boat trailer constructed by Welfit Oddy.
1991 S&B 8+ purchased. New boathouse completed by rowing parents, supported by ZRC and Grey High School
1992 New 2X purchased. First wins in sculls.
1993 Rowing Parents’ Committee established. Carbon fibre blades purchased.
1996 John Waugh 4x purchased for R38 000, named Lady Williams Hunt
1999 Barry Banks initiated the Knysna Regatta. 1st Crew travels to Henley Regatta.
2003 New Severin 8+ purchased, named Lady Simpson
2005 Mr Jan Blom from Holland appointed as Professional Coach. Went on to start NEMATO club in Port Alfred. 4am training sessions stopped
2006 Flood in August. All boats except an 8+ and 4X damaged. Damage nearly R300 000. Mad rushes to and from JHB for repairs. New boats: Coxed Four (George Dock – damaged in flood when only 4 weeks old), and two coxed quads from Collegiate.
2007 Mr George Dock retired. New double arrives, named Lady Meredith. Nick Rowett from UK was hired on six-month contracts as professional coach until 2010. This heralded a change in focus towards small sculling boats in order to boost the basics of rowing. We started to win many more races, thus rebuilding the profile of Grey as winners.
2008 Lavin Geach wins the gold medal in the U16 Single Sculls and Jason Fischer won silver in the U15 Single Sculls at SA Schools’ Championships. Lady Simpson is converted to an Octopul, the first 16-bladed sculling boat in the province.
2009 4 Gold medals won at the Schools’ championships. New lightweight double, Flash Gordon, purchased for R73 000.
2010 Lavin Geach becomes the first Grey Rower to win the U19 1st Single Sculls at SA Schools’ Championships. He then teamed up with Craig Jones to win bronze in the U19 double Sculls Final.
2011 Mr Geoffrey Jones appointed as head coach for one season.
2012 Mr Benjamin Ekron appointed as head coach. Oscar Hobson represented the SA School’s U16 Development Team in Belgium.
2013 Keagan Adendorff represented the SA School’s U16 Development Team in Belgium.
2014 Archie Rabie donated by Mr Danie Rabie on behalf of the Rabie Trust.  Robert Stevens and Ben Pio represented the SA School’s U16 Development Team in Belgium.



3 x 8+ (Lady Grey, Lady Simpson and Archie Rabie)
1 x 4+ (George Dock)
5 x 4X+/+ (Lady Maritime, Ma’am’s Ivy, Lady Way, Lady Edkins and Kniperider)
3 x 2-/+ (Lady Victoria, Lady Meridith and Flash Gordon)
5 x 1X (Lady Margaret, Lady Fortune, Endeavour, Trojan and Viking)
Boat Trailer
Boat shed at Redhouse on the Zwartkops River
3 Motorboats for coaching
We have access to 8 Rowing Machines in an Ergo room on the Grey campus

The ‘Gees’

Rowing is very special when it comes to friendships. The rowing club has produced great friends and brought many families together, especially with the friendly ‘rowing parents’ around, who are always keen to help and get involved. The annual camp really adds to this atmosphere. The boys live as a crew for a week, recently in Port Alfred. This period brings everyone together and the boys are surprisingly keen for the December holidays to finish so that they can start the camp. A good attitude is always encouraged by the coaches who are dedicated to the sport of rowing and want people to enjoy it as much as they do and also they realise the importance of attitude and group dynamics, when it comes to performance.

Coaching Staff

The coaching staff comprises of staff members, students and one professional coach.

Master in Charge and Head Coach:
Mr Benjamin Ekron
Click here to view the contact details of Mr Benjamin Ekron

Assistant Master in Charge:
Mr Jonathan van Niekerk

Mrs Marzane Meyer


Team Coach
1st VIII Mr Reinhardt Oborn
2nd VIII Mr Aladair Macphail
U16 Mr Tinus Knipe; Mr C McLeod
U15 Mr Jonathan van Niekerk; Prof Chris Adendorff
U14 Mr Jaryd van der Westhuysen; Mr Cameron Wilke

2019 Activities

DATE Activity Venue
1 October ZRC Regatta Zwartkops River, PE
15/16 October Knysna Regatta Belvidere Lagoon, Knysna
22 October Interhouse Regatta Zwartkops River, PE
29 October ECRA Championships Regatta Buffalo River, EL
9/10 Dec SA Schools Boat Race Kowie River, Port Alfred


South African Schools’ Rowing Union

Rowing South Africa

National Squad

Additional Information

What is Rowing?

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Rowing Terms Explained

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Rowing is proudly sponsored by: